Roman gods versus Greek gods
It is a known fact that the ancient Romans modeled an extensive amount of their culture and religious beliefs on the ancient Greeks, including their gods and goddesses who basically shared similar characteristics and responsibilities as the ones in the Greek pantheon.
Below is a presentation of a list of the major Roman gods and their Greek equivalents:
Roman gods versus Greek gods
|Chief of the Gods
|God of the sea and oceans
|God of the Underworld
|Goddess of marriage
|Goddess of the hearth
|Goddess of the harvest, grains and agriculture
|Goddess of beauty, love and sex
|God of the forge
|God of war
|God of music, poetry, and medicine
|Goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare
|Goddess of the hunt
|God of wine
|Messenger of the gods
|Goddess of the Underworld
|God of love
|Goddess of victory
|Goddess of the dawn
|God of shepherds
|Goddess of the Moon
|God of the Sun
|Goddess of witchcraft and magic
Roman Titan gods versus Greek Titan gods
|Titan god of time and darkness
|Zeus’ mother and wife of Cronus
|Goddess of divine order and law
|Goddess of shining light and sight
|Goddess of fresh-water, springs, fountains and clouds
|Goddess of prophecy and bright intellect
|God of encircling oceans
|Goddess of memory and mother of the Nine Muses
|God of mortality and father of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Menoetius
|Father of the constellations
|God of intellect
Roman primordial gods versus Greek primordial gods
|Goddess of night
|Father of the Titans
|Goddess of Earth
|Personification of death
|Personification of darkness
|Deities of mountains
|Goddess of retribution
|Personification of sleep
|Personification of day
|Personification of necessity, inevitability and compulsion
|Personification of eternity
Interesting facts about Roman gods and Greek gods
- In the Roman pantheon, which is predated by the Greek pantheon by about a millennium, the names of the gods and goddesses are changed; regardless their features, symbols and powers remain fairly the same as the gods in the Greek pantheon.
- The Romans preferred naming their gods after objects, particularly celestial objects. The Greeks, on the other hand, named their gods in terms of the role and human characteristics that they epitomized.
- Compared to the ancient Greeks, Romans placed less emphasis on the physical features of their gods. The ancient Greeks made magnificent sculptors that showered enormous positive physical looks on their gods as they believed that gods were above humans in all aspects.
- Homer and Virgil are considered the two leading authors from both civilizations – Greek civilization and Roman civilization respectively. Homer, for example, is credited with authoring his most famous works The Iliad and The Odyssey about 700 years before Roman author Virgil came out with The Aeneid. In the latter work, the author picks of from the final few years of the Trojan War and the fall of Troy. Virgil describes how a Trojan hero by the name of Aeneus (Aeneas) fled Troy, which had been overrun by the Greeks, to Italy before founding the city of Rome.
- In ancient Greece, it was believed that the gods occupied a distinguished position that no mortal could attain. Any attempt to compare oneself to a Greek god or goddess was met with swift punishment as they believed that the gods considered such hubris unacceptable. However, the Roman society in so many ways encouraged their citizens to strive for high standards, almost comparable to the ones possessed by the Roman gods. This explains why many of their great rulers/emperors were deified by the Roman Senate. Notable examples of such rulers were Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus.
- Mythical heroes like Heracles, Hector, Perseus, and Achilles were significantly more revered than their Roman counterparts. To the ancient Greeks, the heroes were individuals that came closest to the powers and strength possessed by the Greek gods. They were superhuman beings and demigods, as in the case of Achilles and Heracles, who inspired mortals to great feats and standards in the society.